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Much like the NFL’s free agency period, the transfer portal has provided college football coaches with a new avenue of acquiring talent. Instead of adding an unproven high school prospect, programs are able to snag an experienced upperclassman through transfer to boost the roster and immediately contribute. Building a roster and recruiting has evolved.

Spring practices have concluded and with high-profile transfers in new programs, CBS Sports’ made their case for the top impact transfers to guide teams towards a College Football Playoff in 2021. Two Oklahoma Sooners were among the list: running back Eric Gray and offensive lineman Wanya Morris. Here is a breakdown of both Tennessee transfers.

Going to two-time it here since the Sooners not only have two impact transfers for their playoff push but got them both from the same place. Morris and Gray were the No. 2 and No. 7-ranked players, respectively, in a 2019 Tennessee recruiting class that ranked No. 13 in the country. Morris was a two-year starter for the Vols and Gray became one of the top running backs in the SEC last season.

Now Morris adds a huge boost to an offensive line losing multiple starters and Gray steps in ready to contribute immediately in the running back rotation. There’s easy explanations for the Oklahoma hype because of Spencer Rattler, but just as important is how the rest of the offense around the quarterback has improved. — Chip Patterson

With the departure of Creed Humphrey and Adrian Ealy to the NFL, Wanya Morris will help anchor Bill Bedenbaugh’s unit. Morris started at left tackle for two seasons with the Vols and will have to continue to earn the role with Oklahoma. Erik Swenson has been effective at the spot for two seasons at OU. Throughout the spring, coaches have been impressed with his inquisitive nature and “asking a lot of questions.”


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Athleticism is key in Bedenbaugh’s line with pulls and Morris fits the mold. He is productive in both pass protection and run blocking- moving to the second level to clear lanes for rushers. Morris will be tasked with protecting OU’s famed quarterback Spencer Rattler and opening up holes at the line of scrimmage for the other Tennessee transfer, Eric Gray.

Gray is adjusting to life as a Sooner and a new offensive playbook. The versatile back has superb short-area quickness and has been honing in on his pass protection during the spring in Norman. With the loss of Rhamondre Stevenson to the NFL and the departure of Seth McGowan from the program, Gray will be an integral part of OU’s rushing attack come fall.


Every Oklahoma Sooner added/subtracted through the transfer portal

His elusiveness and vision have already impressed. At the spring exhibition game, he plowed his way into the end zone on a 19-yard run. Gray accelerated into the hole, put his foot in the ground and made a guy miss in the open field. That is what coaches are looking for. He will no doubt thrive in Lincoln Riley’s system and elevate the squad’s screen game with his pass-catching ability.

Both are players to watch in 2021.